AMD launches 'business class' Phenom, Athlon chips

AMD on Monday announced "business class" versions of its Phenom and Athlon processors for the commercial markets. The big pitch: PC manufacturers will maintain AMD's business class systems for 24 months to ensure that systems aren't phased out before they are deployed.

AMD on Monday announced "business class" versions of its Phenom and Athlon processors for the commercial markets. The big pitch: PC manufacturers will maintain AMD's business class systems for 24 months to ensure that systems aren't phased out before they are deployed.

The chipmaker (all AMD resources) is angling to differentiate itself from Intel in the commercial markets and says that stability of platform is important to public sector purchases as well as enterprises.

Hal Speed, AMD's marketing architect, said that ensuring longevity of supply is critical for desktop deployments because sometimes the life of the PC cycle can undercut the time to deploy them. Speed also noted that AMD upped its warranty from one year to three years for its business class systems. "We were looking to remove complexity," said Speed. "IT departments don't like change."

AMD is looking to assure corporate buyers that its systems will have some longevity to accommodate longer PC buying cycles. Since these systems have up to a 24 month lifecycle companies won't have to change disk images of their desktops.

Among other components of AMD's business class effort:

  • Phenom X3 triple-core and X4 quad-core processors are featured as well as X2 dual-core processors.
  • OEMs can choose AMD 780V chipsets, ATI Radeon HD 3000 graphics or non-AMD graphics and chipsets.
  • AMD is introducing five new motherboards for system builders that will have at least 18 months longevity.
  • Business class commercial notebooks will be available in the second half.

As for OEM support, HP will have its HP Compaq dc5850 Business PC available Monday. Dell will use AMD's business class chips in its Optiplex 740 systems and Lenovo and Fujitsu are also on board.

It's unclear whether this business class effort will make a difference. For instance, if you were initiating a PC upgrade cycle today AMD's 24 months of stability would be a selling point. However, there are diminishing returns after a year.